G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is a half-hour American animated television series based on the successful toyline from Hasbro and the comic book series from Marvel Comics. Writing and distribution for this series were handled as a joint effort by Marvel Productions and Sunbow Productions. Animation was produced overseas, primarily by Toei. 

The series had its beginnings with two five-part mini-series in 1983 and 1984, then became a regular series that ran in first-run syndication from 1985 to 1986. Ron Friedman created the G.I. Joe animated series for television, and wrote all four mini-series. The fourth mini-series was intended to be a feature film, but was instead released as a television mini-series because of production difficulties. Following the initial two mini-series, the regular series began airing on September 16, 1985 concurrently in line with the second season of The Transformers, debuting with a third five-part miniseries, The Pyramid of Darkness.

A public safety lesson was usually featured at the end of each episode, using G.I. Joe characters in brief scenarios to impart safety tips to children. These lessons gave birth to the catchphrase: "And knowing is half the battle". In each episode's opening title sequence voice actor Jackson Beck states that, "G.I. Joe is the code name for America's daring, highly-trained, Special Mission force. Its purpose: To defend human freedom against Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world".

Because the series was produced primarily as a vehicle to sell the toys, each episode typically focused on a particular G.I. Joe character. The animated series was not directly tied to the comic book produced by Marvel Comics, although several properties, such as the Oktober Guard, Springfield, and Serpentor were featured in both the comic book and the animated series.

On November 4, 2002, reruns of the series began airing on Cartoon Network's late-night Toonami block, the Midnight Run.[1] Shortly after the Midnight Run's cancellation, G.I. Joe was moved to Cartoon Network's new action block, Saturday Video Entertainment System (SVES).[2]


An elite special missions force fights against the terrorist forces of Cobra. Based on the successful toy series by Hasbro, G.I. Joe is the code name for an elite strike force comprising of personnel from all branches of the United States military. Their primary purpose is to be a counterforce to the huge terrorist organization called Cobra which is gunning for world domination.


In the first season, the Joe team had 44 figure-based members and 4 animal sidekicks, along with cartoon-exclusive characters. This number includes all the individuals released through 1985, with the exceptions of Colonel Hawk, Crankcase, and Keel-Haul. Those 48, plus Crankcase and the non-figure Sparks, are the "roughly fifty" active Joes mentioned in Worlds Without End I. Colonel Sharp and Admiral Ledger are also considered Joes by many viewers but are not officially part of the team. The second season saw the introduction of 15 more (counting Crankcase), with nine others appearing only in the movie. As for Cobra, there were 15 individual Cobras in the first season, plus 10 figure-based troop types. (A.V.A.C.s appeared early, and Stinger Drivers did not appear at all). 

The second season gave us six more individuals and four more kinds of soldiers, not counting cartoon exclusives or the Cobra-La team of the Movie. For both Joes and Cobras, the creators evidently tried to spotlight the newer characters while still giving decent attention to the older ones, especially in the first season. Neglected, however, are most Joes from 1982, who received most of their screen time in the two miniseries that preceded the regular run of the show. In addition, about half the vehicle drivers got the short end of the stick when it came to speaking roles. But it is remarkable that even the less-featured characters had distinct personalities and gained the affection of fans through their occasional appearances.

Voice CastEdit

Character(s)English Voice Actor
Low-Light, André Vélocité Charlie Adler
Wet Suit, Pierre LaFonte, Viper Jack Angel
Cover Girl, Dr. Nancy Winters Libby Aubrey
Narrator Jackson Beck
Blowtorch, Clutch, Duke, Lift-Ticket, Major Bludd, Scrap-Iron, Tollbooth, Xamot,
Cobra Trooper, Viper, Tele-Viper, Professor Mullaney, Dr. Massey, Socrates Airtes,
Robert Harper, Thoth, Jabal, Beemish
Michael Bell
Colonel Brekhov, Cutter, Firefly, Rip Cord, Sparks, Spirit, Mr. Queeg, Marty Goldblatt Gregg Berger
Brittany "Bree" Van Mark, Sheila McDermott Susan Blu
Destro, Iceberg, Stalker, Cobra Trooper, Caleb Bronson, Parapsychologist #2 Arthur Burghardt
Captain Lukrov, Dr. Hamler, Mr. C Wally Burr
Tomax, Lt. Clay Moore, Owen Van Mark, Gerky Potemkin Corey Burton
Beach Head William Callaway
Zandar (Arise, Serpentor, Arise! Part 2), The Major of Paris Roger C. Carmel
Quick Kick François Chau
Matthew Burke Philip L. Clarke
Airborne, Zandar, Cobra Trooper, Ramar, Dr. Vandemeer, Osiris, Anubis Peter Cullen
Doctor Mindbender Brian Cummings
Ace, Airtight, Wild Weasel, Cobra Trooper, George Lanceburg Pat Fraley
Dial Tone, Mike P. Randall Hank Garrett
Serpentor, Buck McCann, B.A. LaCarre Dick Gautier
General Hawk, King Augeas, Reverend Steen Ed Gilbert
Slip Stream Dan Gilvezan
Colonel Sharp Robert David Hall
Charles Fairmont, Dr. Filmoss Johnny Haymer
Zartan Zack Hoffman
Roadblock Kene Holliday
Tommy Talltree Michael Horton
Bazooka John Hostetter
Sci-Fi Jerry Houser
Zandar (Arise, Serpentor, Arise! Part 5) Milton James
Doc, Zap, Cobra Trooper, Dr. Windigos Buster Jones
Dr. Shakur Stanley Jones
Honda Lou West Sally Julian
Breaker, Cobra Commander, Frostbite, Gung-Ho, Ripper, Steeler, Tele-Viper,
Dr. Hibbentrope, Patrick O'Hara, Horus
Chris Latta
Satin Ketty Lester
Barbecue Loren Lester
Baroness, Maat, Mongolian Warrior, Mrs. Rudat, Madame Versailles, Taeko Morgan Lofting
Vena, Cadet Demming, Mrs. Fairmont, Sally Fairmont, Fairmont Boy, Hawaiian Girl Mona Marshall
Leatherneck Chuck McCann
Cross-Country Michael McConnohie
Lady Jaye, Madame Vail, Miss Henderhaunch, Jimmy, Buto Mary McDonald-Lewis
Bobby, Young Mainframe David Mendenhall
Professor Don Messick
Mutt, Recondo, Colonel Slash, Spencer Murphy Bill Morey
Snow Job, Tripwire, Flash, World War I American Warrior, Cobra Slavemaster Rob Paulsen
Mainframe Patrick Pinney
Zarana, Una, Donna Dasher Lisa Raggio
Flint, Cobra Trooper, Strato-Viper Bill Ratner
Deep Six, Admiral Ledger Hal Rayle
Sgt. Slaughter Bob Remus
Dr. Marsh, Amun-Ra Peter Renaday
Buzzer, Dusty, Heavy Metal, Monkeywrench, Shipwreck, Thunder, Hector Ramirez,
Major Ron Michaels, Dr. Jeremy Penser, Wong
Neil Ross
Grunt (Cobra Soundwaves), Brian O'Hara, Sheik Ali Dan Roth
Footloose, Rock 'n Roll Will Ryan
Thrasher Ted Schwartz
General Flagg, General Franks, Admiral George Latimer, Dr. Lucifer, General Hawk John Stephenson
Scarlett, Pelar Vasquez, Flo Breckinridge B.J. Ward
Alpine Lee Weaver
Copperhead, Flash, Freedom, Junkyard, Polly, Short-Fuse, Timber, Torch, Wild-Bill,
Horrorshow, Rock 'n Roll, Cobra Trooper, Tele-Viper, Tom, Parapsychologist #1,
Brett Tinker, Timothy Penser, Pingu
Frank Welker
Lifeline Stan Wojno
Torpedo Michael Yama
Storm Shadow Keone Young



Color Season Episodes U.S. Season Premiere U.S. Season Finale
Mini-Series 05 September 12, 1983 September 16, 1983
Mini-Series 05 September 10, 1984 September 14, 1984
1 55 September 16, 1985 December 13, 1985
2 30 September 15, 1986 November 20, 1986
Movie 05

The first season of the series consisted of 55 new episodes, plus reruns of the two earlier 5-part miniseries, for a total of 65 episodes. In the second season there were 30 additional episodes, followed by a direct-to-video Movie (aired on TV in five parts). All together, there were 100 episodes (5 + 5 + 55 + 30 + 5), along with five different opening sequences.

In March 2009, Shout! Factory acquired the rights to re-release G.I. Joe on DVD in Region 1. They have subsequently released Season 1 in 3 volume sets. On July 22, 2009, they released G.I. Joe - A Real American Hero: Complete Collector's Set, a 17-disc boxset featuring all 95 episodes and extensive bonus features including archival Hasbro toy commercials and a collectible 60-page book. The second and final season was released on April 27, 2010.

Broadcast HistoryEdit

The series had its beginnings with two five-part mini-series, that aired in syndication in 1983 and 1984, then became a regular series that ran in first-run syndication from September 16, 1985 to November 20, 1986. The series began airing, out of order, on Cartoon Network from July 1, 2002[3] to August 22, 2002, at 1:00 AM, as a trial run.[4]. The series was then brought back on November 4th, airing on Toonami's Midnight Run. The series last aired on Cartoon Network on August 2, 2003, as part of the Saturday action/animation block, SVES.

  • United States (First-run Syndication) — September 12-16, 1983; September 10-14, 1984; September 16, 1985 - November 20, 1986
  • United States (Cartoon Network) — July 1, 2002[3][5] - August 22, 2002[4]; November 4, 2002[1] - August 2, 2003

Toonami Broadcast HistoryEdit

The series began airing on Toonami's late night block, the Midnight Run, on November 4, 2002. Shortly after the Midnight Run's cancellation, G.I. Joe was moved to Cartoon Network's new Saturday night action block, SVES, in 2003.

External LinksEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 ""G.I. Joe" - Week One - Talkback ". November 4, 2002. Retrieved on December 23, 2016. 
  2. "Cartoon Network Pushes New Programming Block ". February 17, 2003. Retrieved on April 4, 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "What going on with GI JOE??? ". June 30, 2002. Retrieved on December 23, 2016. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Goodbye "G.I. Joe" ". August 23, 2002. Retrieved on December 23, 2016. 
  5. "G.I. Joe episodes - July ". June 15, 2002. Retrieved on December 23, 2016. 
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